Climate-smart Agriculture

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrated approach to managing landscapes—cropland, livestock, forests and fisheries–that address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change. CSA aims to simultaneously achieve three outcomes[1]:

  1. Increased productivity: Produce more food to improve food and nutrition security and boost the incomes of 75 percent of the world’s poor, many of whom rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
  2. Enhanced resilience: Reduce vulnerability to drought, pests, disease and other shocks; and improve capacity to adapt and grow in the face of longer-term stresses like shortened seasons and erratic weather patterns.
  3. Reduced emissions: Pursue lower emissions for each calorie or kilo of food produced, avoid deforestation from agriculture and identify ways to suck carbon out of the atmosphere.

The links between agriculture, forestry, biodiversity and climate change have been the core focus of CRED under the frame of sustainable agriculture. These sectors must play a major role in global efforts to address both adaptation and mitigation. From the past experience, CRED has introduced a landscape approach to local community and government agencies in Vietnam to bring stakeholders together at the landscape level to help Vietnam meet the mitigation and adaptation targets it has set for itself. By addressing challenges at a landscape level, innovative practitioners are able to identify connections between agricultural production, livelihoods, forestry, biodiversity and the environment and harness synergies in a more powerful way for economic development and to encourage land users to adopt practices that meet the government’s and farmers’ needs.

Integrating biodiversity conservation activities into climate-friendly policies, to strengthen local sustainable economic activities in forest areas through BioTrade promises the dual benefit of carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. It can create two significant revenue streams for local communities that commercialize carbon credits and BioTrade products and services. CRED, with support from EU, SECO and Helvetas, had an opportunity to support Vietnam promote the conservation of biodiversity through sustainable trade of natural ingredients along ethical Biotrade principles.

In specific, CRED will focus on:

  • Innovative agricultural practices adopted to climate change, e.g. draught, pro-longed flood, landslide and soil erosions;
  • Sustainable/climate-smart cropping practices for the development of high-end market specialties e.g. tea, herbals, medicinal plants, food and fruit plants;
  • International standards and certifications from farm to factory, e.g. Organic, FairTrade, BioTrade, GACP-Who, etc.;
  • Sustainable collecting practices for NTFPs;
  • Community forest management and biodiversity conservation;
  • Extension and training support for agricultures.

[1] Abstract from the World Bank